CATEGORIES

 

These awards recognise companies, teams and individuals that can demonstrate innovation in products, services, technology and marketing.

They recognise the impact on business performance, customers and employees – and how they are actively deploying growth finance, enabling and supporting SMEs.

GROWTH FINANCE LEADER OF THE YEAR (Previously Business Growth Enabler)

The Growth Finance Leader of the Year award celebrates an individual within the growth finance industry who has made a demonstrable and widespread impact on SMEs over the past 12 months. This award can be entered independently or in partnership with a finance provider.

GROWTH FINANCE PROVIDER OF THE YEAR

Our highest accolade for providers of growth finance. This Growth Finance Provider of the Year award will recognise an exemplary company, one that has a clear and demonstrable focus on delivering ‘more than finance’ to its customers and can evidence impact on UK businesses.

IMPACT THROUGH FINANCE (Replaces Best Use of Growth Finance) 

The Impact Through Finance award invites finance providers to submit a case study of one of their *SME customers who they have supported to achieve business success.
*The SME must have received some or all of the funding in the past 12 months.
*The finance provider submitting the entry must be able to demonstrate how the proceeds have directly supported growth.
When assessing the SME’s success, judges will be looking for clear differentiators including qualitative and quantitative evidence of growth, customer satisfaction and business/industry impact.

DIRECT LENDING PLATFORM OF THE YEAR

The Direct Lending Platform of the Year award will be presented to the platform providing a growth finance product or service that has delivered a clear and demonstrable business impact over the past 12 months. This could be a specific case study, a project or a wide-reaching service offering that has created results worthy of recognition. The judges will be looking for clear differentiators including qualitative and quantitative evidence of customer growth, innovation, customer satisfaction, feedback, and impact on the business and/or industry.

BEST BUSINESS BANKING INNOVATION (Replaces Best Challenger Bank)

The Best Business Banking Innovation award will be presented to the bank that has delivered a clear and demonstrable business impact for customers over the past 12 months through an innovative product or service. The judges will be looking for clear differentiators including qualitative and quantitative evidence of innovation, customer satisfaction, feedback, and impact on the business and/or industry.

BEST NEW BUSINESS (New)

The Best New Business award is presented to a NEW growth finance provider that has launched in the past 24 months and can show a demonstrable business impact on its SME customers. The judges will be looking for clear differentiators including qualitative and quantitative evidence of growth, innovation, customer satisfaction, feedback, and business/industry impact.

GROWTH FINANCE BROKER OF THE YEAR (New)

The Growth Finance Broker of the Year award will be presented to a broker that has significantly improved access to growth finance, matching up borrowers and lenders to deliver all round success. The judges will be looking for clear differentiators including qualitative and quantitative evidence of success, customer satisfaction and feedback.

BEST EXPORT FINANCE PRODUCT (New)

The Best Export Finance award will be presented to the lender offering a product or service that has enabled SMEs to sell their goods or services abroad. It’s open to lenders of all shapes and sizes that are committed to helping SMEs reach new markets, and considers the full range of export finance support – including letters of credit, pre-export funding, insurance, and more. The judges will be looking for clear differentiators including qualitative and quantitative evidence of overseas growth, new market opportunities, customer satisfaction, feedback, and business/industry impact.

BEST INVOICE FINANCE PROVIDER

The Best Invoice Finance Provider award will be presented to an invoice finance provider that has delivered a clear and demonstrable business impact over the past 12 months. This could be a specific case study, project or a wide-reaching service or innovation that has created outstanding results. The judges will be looking for clear differentiators including qualitative and quantitative evidence of customer growth, innovation, customer satisfaction, feedback, and impact on the business and/or industry.

BEST LEASING OR HIRE PURCHASE PRODUCT (New)

The Best Leasing or Hire Purchase Product award celebrates a finance provider allowing SMEs to access valuable equipment that would otherwise be too costly to use, thus helping them to grow. It’s open to any company providing leasing or hire purchase agreements to SMEs, regardless of the equipment type. The judges will be looking for clear differentiators including qualitative and quantitative evidence of growth, customer satisfaction, feedback, and business/industry impact.

ASSET-BASED LENDER OF THE YEAR (New)

The Asset-based Lender of the Year award will go to an outstanding growth finance provider using the assets of its SME customers as security for lending. Recognised by the British Business Bank as one of the fastest-growing sources of capital for SMEs in the UK, asset-based lending is celebrated for the first time at this year’s awards. The judges will be looking for clear differentiators including qualitative and quantitative evidence of success, customer satisfaction, feedback, and business/industry impact.

VENTURE DEBT PROVIDER OF THE YEAR

The Venture Debt Provider of the Year award will be presented to a provider of venture debt that has delivered a clear and demonstrable impact over the past 12 months. This could be a specific case study, a project or a wide-reaching service that has created business results worthy or recognition. The judges will be looking for clear differentiators including qualitative and quantitative evidence of customer growth, innovation, customer satisfaction, feedback, and impact on the business and/or industry.

SPECIALIST LENDER OF THE YEAR

The Specialist Lender of the Year award recognises the creative use of finance to businesses in a specific sector, or in a specialist or niche way that has delivered a clear and demonstrable business impact over the past 12 months. This could be a specific case study, a project or a wide-reaching service that has created results worthy of recognition. The judges will be looking for clear differentiators including qualitative and quantitative evidence of customer growth, innovation, customer satisfaction, feedback, and impact on the business, sector or industry.
The Best P2P Business Lender award will be presented to the P2P lender providing a growth finance product or service that has delivered a clear and demonstrable business impact to SMEs over the past 12 months. The platform will demonstrate a best-in-class digital platform, transparency, as well as ample resources for both borrowers and lenders. The judges will be looking for clear differentiators including qualitative and quantitative evidence of customer growth, innovation, customer satisfaction, feedback, and impact on the business or industry.

BEST FUND MANAGER

The Best Fund Manager award will be presented to the Fund Manager that can demonstrate a clear impact on SMEs through their debt-based, alternative credit or direct lending funds over the past 12 months. This could be a specific case study, project or innovation that has created outstanding results. The judges will be looking for clear differentiators including qualitative and quantitative evidence of growth, innovation, customer satisfaction, feedback, and business/industry impact.

INNOVATIVE PRODUCT OF THE YEAR

The Innovative Product of the Year award recognises a growth finance product that has delivered a clear and demonstrable innovation during the last 12 months. This product will have created outstanding results for an SME, a sector, or the industry as a whole through innovation. The judges will be looking for clear differentiators including qualitative and quantitative evidence of innovation, impact on business/ industry and customer feedback.
The Most Successful Partnership award celebrates the collaborative nature of the growth finance industry. It’s open to any growth finance providers that have partnered with other companies in order to achieve greater results for their SME customers. The judges will be looking for a case study that shows clear evidence of a fruitful partnership that has increased or improved the provision of finance to SMEs in the past 12 months, or that demonstrates how the partnership has created success for a specific SME customer.

BEST DIGITAL PRODUCT OR SERVICE (Replaces Best Use of Technology & Digital Lender of the Year)

The Best Digital Product or Service award will celebrate a lender whose best-in-class digital product/service has helped SMEs to succeed. The award is open to all kinds of digital products, from customer-facing tools or platforms to back-end processes driving efficiency and improving product offerings. The judges will be looking for clear differentiators including qualitative and quantitative evidence of impact, innovation, customer satisfaction, feedback, and business/industry impact.

BEST MARKETING CAMPAIGN

The Best Marketing Campaign Award will be presented to a company that has delivered an outstanding and impactful marketing campaign to the SME market over the past 12 months. Measures taken into account include: reach, impact, creative execution, innovation and customer feedback.

BEST CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

The Best Customer Experience award recognises a company delivering a consistent brand experience to UK SMEs, challenging behaviours and assumptions of business lending. Measures taken into account include: service standards, net promoter score, customer surveys and feedback.

BEST PLACE TO WORK

The Best Place to Work award will be presented to a provider of growth finance with a clear and demonstrable focus on the employee experience. The award recognises a company’s diversity and inclusion, training and development, Glassdoor ratings, employee benefits, and employee engagement.

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